Healthcare: Tamil Nadu
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In 30 years, Chennai shows tenfold rise in diabetes
TNN | Aug 16, 2013
CHENNAI: Diabetes is spreading fast across the country and Chennai reflects this alarming trend, with the incidence shooting up tenfold in the past 30 years. The Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiology Study (CURES), which covered 26,001 individuals above the age of 20, shows that 20% of the subjects were diabetic. The incidence of diabetes in the city was 2% in 1970.
Dubbed the biggest epidemiological study in the country, it confirmed the fear that the disorder has been affecting the young and the old, the rural and the urban. It found that 58% of the population above 55 years had diabetes .
CURES was launched by Chennai-based Madras Diabetic Research Foundation (MDRF) in 2001 and the research is on-going.
"Every tenth subject recruited in Phase 1 of CURES was requested to participate in Phase 3 of CURES and on conducting detailed tests on them we found that there has been a rapid increase in the incidence of diabetes in the city ," said MDRF head Dr V Mohan.
Dubbed the biggest epidemiologicalstudy in thecountry , it has confirmed the fear that the disorder has been affecting the young and the old, the rural andtheurban.Thestudy found that 58 % of the adult population above 55 yearshaddiabetes and another 25% fell into the pre-diabetes stage. About onethird of pre-diabetics have the chance of becoming diabetics , but it could be prevented with lifestylechangesin many cases.
The city specific study showed that 20% of people between 20 to 55 years have diabetes. In rural areas , the incidence of diabetes had gone up from 1% 40 years ago to 8% at present. "Considering that a large part of the population lives in the rural areas, even a small jump in numbers could mean a lot," said Dr Mohan.
The first phase of another study, INDIAB, sponsored by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), had found 62 million people across the country were diabetic, and 77 million were pre-diabetic. "This clearly shows that as much as we are trying to control the disease, a huge chunk of the adult population is at the risk of getting diabetes anytime. We are slowly becoming an obesogenic society which uses elevators, escalators, cars and remote controls which ensures that there is very little physical activity. This has to change," warned Dr Mohan.
But the doctor also assured that there are possibilities of the increasing trend stabilizing as Western studies indicate that the gene pool that is prone to diabetes would get exhausted soon and more awareness about the disease would prompt people to follow a healthy lifestyle.
Experts say that while the affluent have become aware of the disease burden and started working outtokeep fit,the middle class are being largely affected. Lifestyle modifications, consumption of junk food and processed food and immense stress levels contribute to diabetes. "If people incorporate physical activity in their daily regime, switch to traditional and natural food and do yoga or meditation every day, diabetes can be kept at bay," he said.
Women in labour pain top medical emergencies in Tamil Nadu
Pushpa Narayan, TNN | Aug 17, 2013
Since 2008, out of the 22.5 lakh emergencies, 26% were that of women in labour. bb They were either being moved from their homes to hospitals or shifted from a hospital to another.
CHENNAI: The biggest medical emergency in the state is women going into labour. That's what the Emergency Management and Research Institute concluded after looking into the call history for emergencies in the last five years. This was followed by road accidents and other medical emergencies such as heart attacks.
Since 2008, out of the 22.5 lakh emergencies, 26% were that of women in labour. They were either being moved from their homes to hospitals or shifted from a hospital to another.
"Our data may come as a surprise to even doctors because many think road accidents would be the top emergency. In July 2013 we transported 15,000 pregnant women. There were less than 14,000 road accident cases. Most of our paramedics have specialised in infant and maternal care," said GVK EMRI regional manager B Prabhudoss.
EMRI has been hired by the government to handle emergency medical care. The other medical emergencies include acute abdomen pain (6%), chest pain (5%), poisoning (3%) and animal bites (1%). The state health department officials have been working on plans to reduce the number of ineffective calls - people not waiting for the ambulance, or worse, being turned away because there is no vehicle. Last month, nearly 4,000 times, an ambulance did not pick a patient because they did not wait for an ambulance. The call centre has told 1,500 people that there is no ambulance available when they called.
"The only way to reduce this is to increase the number of ambulances. The number of instances when we couldn't send an ambulance has come down from 8,000 the previous year to 1,500 now. We are also upgrading technology to reduce our response time to 10 minutes," said a senior health department official.
Paramedics have helped women deliver inside the ambulance. There have been more than 8,800 deliveries in ambulance vehicles so far.
The legal position
Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939: compulsory vaccination
New Delhi: The Tamil Nadu governemnt invoked its 1939 law to impress upon the Supreme Court on Monday that making Covid vaccination mandatory is legal and justified its decision to bar unvaccinated people from accessing public places under Tamil Nadu Public Health Act.
Defending its decision which has been challenged in SC by ex-NTAGI member Jacob Puliyel, the government said Section 76 of the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939 empowers the government to confer special powers on officers to control notified diseases and Section 76(2)(b) empowers the government to make vaccinations compulsory.
Responding to the PIL filed against vaccine mandates issued by various states, Tamil Nadu’s additional advocate general Amit Anand Tiwari in his submission said, “It’s submitted that the state has come out with the said mandate for the reason that vaccination against Covid is essential to prevent serious disease in the population. . . ”
In a move to make Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for those eligible, the directorate of public health and preventive medicine has invoked provisions under the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939, to ensure that public places, including markets, theatres and factories, are occupied only by those vaccinated against Covid-19.
Justifying the decision, the state stated, “The circular issued by the state is a precautionary and preventative measure. ”